Podcast: Transitions Psychology Group, LLC

Gina: Hi everyone, welcome to he Harmony Foundation Podcast Series and it’s my pleasure to be joined with Norma Alkire, with Transitions Psychology Group out of Greeley, Colorado. Welcome.

Norma Alkire: Thank you.

Gina: So good to have you here and for you visiting us here at Harmony. We’re gonna step into learning more about Transitions in a minute but before we do we wanna learn a little bit more about you. You’re an addictions counselor, you specialize in working with adolescents and adults. Can you talk with us a little bit more about your journey into getting into the field of addiction treatment?

Norma Alkire: So what led me in this direction was growing up in a family with an alcoholic father and addiction seemed to be very prevalent and as a child growing up in that environment, feeling confused and wondering why addiction took priority over parenting. Even as a kid wondering that and then as I got older just wanting to learn more about the disease and then having three of my siblings also go down that road.

Gina: So you’ve been exposed to it but then also see the benefits of getting into recovery?

Norma Alkire: Absolutely. And I didn’t see that with my own family so I think that’s why it’s been awesome working in the field and helping people to find something to help them.

Gina: It’s interesting the number of people that I’ve spoken to that work in addiction. I’m the same way. I mean, most of us don’t wake up and say, “I really wanna work in the addictions field.” It’s more it picks you than you pick it.

Norma Alkire: Right.

Gina: And oftentimes it’s from personal experience and so many times it’s just giving back, which is really important. What would you say are some of the success stories in the work you’ve done with people in recovery?

Norma Alkire: I guess I definitely look at the success stories that people are on but they’re not my success stories.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Norma Alkire: It’s just more about helping them to find some direction and really being on that journey with them as they pursue these options and providing support and encouragement. And I feel like there have been many and even ones that I was not directly involved in that I can look at and just be in awe at how hard people have worked to maintain their recovery and I learned so much from those folks.

Gina: Yeah. I feel the same way.

Norma Alkire: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gina: It’s interesting because so much of the news sensationalizes the addiction part but we always struggle to find the success stories of those that are living a really long and amazing life in sobriety. And so we wanna focus more on that so that people know that it’s possible.

Norma Alkire: Yes.

Gina: Because a lot of people don’t realize that it’s possible because all they see is the negative and the consequences of the disease. So if someone were to come into your practice and wanna participate in treatment with you, what would that look like? What are some of the areas that you specialize in? Are you doing cognitive behavioral therapy? Are you doing any EMDR?

Norma Alkire: I do cognitive behavioral therapy. I focus a lot on trauma work so whether I do a lot of EMDR. I’m a firm believer, when people are ready, I never dive into that process because it can be traumatizing itself so just cognitive behavioral and really a lot of talk therapy.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Norma Alkire: A lot of processing happens during that.

Gina: Yeah and you said that you work with adolescents as well. What’s the difference between working with those two populations?

Norma Alkire: The adolescents and the adults?

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Norma Alkire: Oh boy. I think in this day and age, so many more external factors come into … I mean, bullying has changed with the adolescents. I work a lot with girls and just maneuvering through the social mess and again being bullied with technology.

Gina: Right. It is a blessing and curse, they say.

Norma Alkire: Absolutely.

Gina: And if not given the right boundaries can be devastating, I’m sure.

Norma Alkire: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gina: Well, we always like to learn a little bit about the person behind the program and so I’m gonna ask you a couple of personal questions.

Norma Alkire: Okay.

Gina: What is the book or books you’ve given most as a gift and why? Or what are two or three books have greatly influenced your life?

Norma Alkire: One of the books that I recommend to people often is, I love Brene Brown.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Norma Alkire: And The Gifts of Imperfection.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Norma Alkire: I love that book and so I have lent that book out to many people.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Norma Alkire: And interestingly, I have also lent my Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous out to a lot of people. That was given to me years ago and I’m pretty stingy with it but I’ve probably lent it to a dozen people and they always return it.

Gina: Those are great books to give away.

Norma Alkire: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gina: And if I were to play off the idea of the word harmony, what do you think it means to live a life in harmony?

Norma Alkire: I think it means living in peace. Unity.

Gina: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I like that.

Norma Alkire: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gina: It’s true.

Norma Alkire: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gina: And if someone were wanting to access services at Transitions Psychology Group, how could they get in touch with you?

Norma Alkire: Well, my cellphone number is on my business card.

Gina: Okay.

Norma Alkire: And so oftentimes I will get text messages from folks or phone calls just saying, “Hey.” And I also run an ad on Psychology Today for Northern Colorado so you can access me. I have a bio, it tells all of the different insurances that I take and then my office number. Do you want me to give you that?

Gina: Yes.

Norma Alkire: It is 970-336-1123.

Gina: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to visit us here and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you.

Norma Alkire: Great. Thank you.